8. The Goal of President Clinton to Continue the Distractions
What, then, constitutes "victory" for Clinton? It is unlikely that the US Congress would suppress (or be able to suppress) the Cox Report with its apparently damning evidence of White House culpability in the campaign-funds-for-strategic- favors scandal. Just how damning is the evidence against Clinton with regard to the passing of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons technologies to the Peoples Republic of China?
Enough for the Clinton Administration to use every lever of authority at its disposal to stop the declassification of the Cox Report and other inter-agency reports on the matter. The White House has called in every agency it can think of, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (FIAB) to put roadblocks in the way of declassification of the 700-page Cox Report.
The Washington Times of April 26, 1999, in an editorial entitled And the spy-ing goes on, confirmed this. "For months now, the Administration has been battling the Rep. Cox and his committee to keep these details secret." The Cox Report was due to be released by the end of March 1999 (the subject of the report had become publicly known in April 1996), but because of the Administrations pressures this was postponed until the end of April 1999, with the later understanding that the ongoing conflict would enable the Clinton White House to further obfuscate and delay release.
"Given the national security consequences of the revelations as well as the presidents propensity to avoid any responsibility, it is now more imperative than ever that the Cox Report be promptly declassified," The Washington Times editorial said.
This is the scandal which eclipses the Monica Lewinsky matter which led to Clintons impeachment by Congress.
So, if a "legacy other than scandal" is the goal of President Clinton, then he must attempt to continue the distractions, which means the fighting. There is the prospect of switching the combat to a less-difficult "threat", such as Iraqs Saddam Hussein, and there is evidence that this option has been well-considered.
It may well be, failing all else, that the US Congress will be required to determine what constitutes "victory". All agree, at least nominally, that NATO cannot survive as a viable strategic instrument if it fails to achieve its "objectives" in the war against Yugoslavia. There were still a few in government in NATO states who, in late April 1999, clung to the belief that air power alone could force compliance by the Miloevic Government to the NATO terms. But these were only, literally, the na´ve, with no understanding of military history. No major strategic campaign has been won by air power alone.
There are others who believe that the insertion of ground forces into Yugoslavia, or even just the Kosovo-Metohija region, is an unfortunate necessity to achieve compliance. But they, too, are na´ve: a Yugoslav abandonment of the most sacred heartland of the Serb people will not happen. Germany inserted 700,000 troops into Yugoslavia in 1941-45, and failed to successfully control the country. NATO is not prepared to do even that much.
Similarly, because the Serbian people see that they have been so maligned by the peoples (US, UK and France) whom they once suffered to defend in two World Wars, and accused of so many atrocities that they know have been committed against them as a people in the past, they will not surrender up even President Miloevic, as much as some of them may have disliked him in the past.
Furthermore, Yugoslavias military capabilities have hardly been touched, despite the bombing campaign (or perhaps because the bombing has been directed largely at civilian economic targets). So a military "victory" would not be possible without a massive, and unrealistically large, cost to NATO in economic, manpower and time terms.
What will be necessary is for NATO (or rather Clinton, because NATO will follow) to "redefine victory", if victory is to be achieved. The concern in even the anti-Clinton circles of NATO is that without a victory, NATOs future credibility and viability will be lost. This is in great part true, and it is an additional reason why many senior members of the US and NATO military forces are quietly extremely angry at Clinton.
So a US Congressional redefinition of "victory" must consider the long-term ramifications for NATO. It seems likely that the Yugoslavs, themselves extremely anxious for a cessation of hostilities and a resolution to the Kosovo crisis, will be only too happy to assist in this.
The visit to Belgrade on April 18-21, 1999, by US Congressman Jim Saxton (Republican, New Jersey), under the auspices of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), the publisher of this journal, was therefore an important breakthrough in attempting to wrest control of the strategic agenda from the Clinton march toward Armageddon. Not surprisingly, Congr. Saxton returned to Washington to face outright hostility from the Clinton Administration and skepticism from the media and some other members of Congress, all well-steeped in the propaganda version of the conflict.
At first, a curious media besieged Rep. Saxton, requesting that he speak on CNNs Larry King Live, and other prime time network television news shows. But, following a 45-minute telephone harangue of the Congressman by Secretary of State Albright, State Department pressure ensured that the networks withdrew their invitations for the Congressman to speak. Few in the Washington media want to jeopardize their access to the White House or State Department.
But despite this, the chance to grasp at peace attracted many, and the option begun by the Saxton initiative was opened. Debate emerged into the open.
9. Strikes to Deliberately Create Hardship and Unemployment.